This concludes the most challenging and rewarding 30 day challenge I’ve ever taken on.

Last Friday evening I completed my 29th day of meditation with the regular guided chakra meditation that I often listen to on YouTube. It did the trick to help me relax at a time when I was’t feeling particularily relaxed.

Tonight I attended my 7th yoga class in 2 weeks. To some people that may not be a lot of yoga, but for me it is. It’s been wonderful. I’ve learned from several instructors. Some of the classes that I’ve taken have been very meditative. Tonight was one of them.

The initial instructor could not be there so about 5 minutes paFortress Mountain Hikest the hour, another instructor stepped in to lead the class. This class had a focus on opening up the hips which is an area that can be quite tight for me.

What was so great about this class was how she guided us so gracefully through the practice and allowed each of us to stretch and hold the poses in a relaxed manner. There was no pushing or real pain or major discomfort. Almost the entire class felt so good for my body, and of course for my mind.

Taking the time this past month to do 30 days of meditation has been a real gift to myself. I thought about that during my yoga practice tonight. I felt that by taking the time out of my busy day to be with my body and to stretch and breathe and relax that I was in fact giving myself a gift. A gift that I’ve long deserved and long denied myself of.

I’ve enjoyed yoga in my life on and off for more than 2 years but for some reason have only brought it into

Photo by Russell Thomas

Photo by Russell Thomas

my life on a regular basis in the past couple of weeks. I can’t help but see the correlation with all of the meditating. I’m ok with the fact that this challenge took more than 30 days to complete.

So other than having a much more consistent sense of calmness; than seeing some explosive developments in my business; than feeling healthy and more peaceful and feeling physically stronger, I believe that this challenging, “30 Days of Meditation” challenge has rewarded me with my formal introduction to yoga.

I’d say that’s a pretty good result from this 30 day challenge. 

If you need more adventure in your life, go after it!

It was October 26th, 2015, and I had troubles getting out of bed. This was because of the 1150 m hike that I did up Mount Chester in Peter Laughed Park with a good friend yesterday. This hike took us to above 10,000 feet which was the first time that I’d ever been up so high without an airplane.

It was amazing.

Fuelled with lots of food water and one Red Bull, I was often surprised at my high energy levels on the way up and on the way down. The entire hike took us just under 8.5 hours round trip of the 14km journey. I believe we could have shaved an hour off the time if we chose to but we took our time at Chester Lake. It was really fun to toss rocks through the thin layer of ice to hear the rippling sound that it created.

We also ascended up the south face of Chester which it turns out was not our easiest option.

So when I awoke Monday morning, unsurprisingly getting up was not the most desirable first task on my leg’s agenda. 

So I meditated.

I chose to just lie there without any guidance from anywhere or anything and to just concentrate on my breathing. It was the first time that I’d done a meditation before even leaving my bed in the morning and it was the right thing to do. 

I felt more at ease with the busy day ahead and clear about my objectives for the day. When I have an experience like this, sometimes I wonder why it is that I don’t yet do this every day? At least with this challenge, it’s become a much more regular part of my life and has a better chance of gaining full integration soon. 

Here’s a look at the video from the hike up Chester Mountain.

30 Days of Meditation Day 27 The Big Leap

I’m almost sad that this challenge is coming to an end because I’ve seen so many positive things and experiences appear into my life since starting it. Without a doubt this has been the most difficult challenge that I’ve taken on, but also the most rewarding.

By the time I complete it next week it will have takeThe Big Leap Bookn around 40 days to complete this 30 day challenge. But that’s ok. Meditating every day is not something that I’d expect anyone to be able to easily just POP into their lives.

Perhaps there will be a time in my future when meditation will be such a regular part of my life that it wouldn’t be any challenge at all. But I’m not quite there yet.

One bonus that I must mention tonight is how smoothly things seem to be going for me these days. It’s as if I’ve got some additional psychological assistant helping me make the right decisions in life that are leading to more free time and more of an overall feeling of well being and relaxation. Perhaps part of that is due to my recent listening to the audiobook of, “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. 

While I was not thrilled with the first half of the book, the second half has really impressed me. He speaks about something that he calls, “The Upper Limit Problem” which is the concept that people tend to self-sabotage when things are going well in one area of their lives. Furthermore he tells us how to live in our, “Zone of Genius” which I also think is brilliant. 

Most noteworthy for me are his words around the concept of time. He suggests that people who are always short on time and rushing are using time to make themselves feel like a victim. I’ve done this although don’t seem to be doing it as often as I used to.

To correct this he offers that people first stop using this victim language and secondly take responsibility for the main thing(s) that they are not being responsible about in their lives. 

This set off a lightbulb in my mind and I  got straight down to sorting out a particular challenge that I’ve had for some time. It came to me clearly and quickly as he said that it would. I love books that actually make me get out of my chair to do something in that moment. This is one of those books. I hope that my book on Unexpected Connections prompts similar actions for people one day. 

Like many great books, I got introduced to this one by a friend of mine, Julia Zarina and I’ll forever be grateful. Take a look here at a great resource for getting the information out of business books swiftly. It’s called, “Actionable Books”. I found this summary after reading the book. 

Finally, to today’s meditation. This morning I did a guided meditation that I quite enjoyed. I found myself almost falling back to sleep after a good night’s sleep but got up and was able to have a very productive day following this meditation. 

Don’t get stuck because of the Upper Limit Problem and call upon me if you’d like to learn how it is that you can create all of the time in the world that you’ll ever need. Thanks for a great read, Gay Hendricks.

On Thursday evening this week, I received a phone call from a colleague of mine from my speaking Tony Esteves Global TVassociation. Palmo Caripno was asking if I’d like to come in to do some juggling at the Cardel Theatre on Friday morning as Global TV was doing a piece on the local community, Quarry Park. Of course I was interested, so after re-scheduling a meeting I agreed to head down there. 

I brought my friend and acrobatic yoga partner, Amanda to do some Acro Yoga as well. We jammed and they gave us a mic and asked us some questions. I did some juggling and we had some fun. Gil Tucker was reporting and doing his best to find my connection to the Cardel Theatre. We didn’t have to look far as I’m co-hosting a networking event there on November 3rd which he softly promoted.  Join us at Get Connected YYC.

Below is the piece that they ended up creating for the news. Palmo continues to be a great supporter of mine as I grow into the professional speaking community here in Canada. The unexpected connection of meeting him through CAPS (the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) has already led to some collaborations, some laughs and now a local television appearance. 

These Unexpected Connections are good connections! You never know what they might lead to. Don’t let these connections slip past you in your life. 

30 Days of Meditation Day 26

Today I got swept away to a yoga class with a friend of mine who is an instructor. After dabbling with yoga and taking a few sporadic classes of the past 2 years I finally actually got myself a yoga membership at a well known studio near my place in Calgary. It is called, “Yoga and Beyond” and there you can take Spin classes, different types of yoga and acrobatic yoga classes. I’ve been to Yoga and Beyond a couple of times already and they have 2 locations. I’ve always been very impressed with the classes I’ve taken there, the professionalism and talent of the instructors as well as how great I feel afterwords.

yab-logo

This class worked out as a bonus for me because there was a large meditative element to it. It was called Hatha / Meditation and unsurprisingly I left the class feeling much better than when I went in. Grounded, relaxed and focussed.

Now I’m wondering if this meditation challenge is going to evolve into a yoga challenge…

Yoga and Beyond Website

30 Days Of Meditation Challenge Days 21 – 25

Day 21 A Family Cottage Meditation

Cottage

My view from my cottage meditation

We all have our excuses for not doing the things that we know we should be doing. Usually it’s around not having enough time, or not having the money or because some thing is not happening. The conditions are not right.

After meditating 20 of the past 27 days I have faced this challenge just as I have with other important things that I’ve always been meaning to do. But isn’t it strange how when we do take the time to do those things we almost always feel better after? It’s as if facing those tasks is like cleaning mental clutter and we are at the very least reward with a sense of ease and well being. At very best some large personal or professional benefits have time and space to blossom. 

Yesterday I arrived to my family cottage near Kincardine, Ontario. It was – as it always is – a pleasure to see my sisters, nephews and mother. The evening was busy with the delicious Thanksgiving feast and good conversation. By 9 pm I was quite tired, and wanted to get to bed, but I had not yet done my meditation.

What happened before this rest was wonderful. I just sat alone outside on this wonderfully warm October evening, closed my eyes and dipped into a little meditation on my own. I’ve been doing this enough now that I’m finding it easier to calm my mind and to just let go of a busy mind. 

I sat there for what felt like about 5 minutes but I don’t really know how long it was. Even though I really didn’t think I had time to keep going on my meditation challenge for the day, I was able to do so, and quite satisfactorily. 

Re-framing challenges can allow us to accomplish more than we think possible and the ground doesn’t need to shift to allow great things to happen.

See you on Day 22.

Day 22 Sleepy Ultra-Relaxing Meditation

So tired. Decided to search for a 15 minute meditation. Found this one below. It’s based in hypnosis and NLP and was exactly what I needed. Although I was already tired and relaxed before the meditation I felt much better than before.

In other news, today I attended my first ever “Morning Reset”. This was created by the good people at www.CampRestet.ca. They created a place for people to do yoga together, dance together and be completely free of judgement for a few hours on a Wednesday morning. It was wonderful.

They actually make you check your technology at the door for their events! Check them out.

Day 23 Meditating on YouTube

When I just plug in “Guided Meditation” to YouTube I sometimes feel that I’m being lazy. But the results are consistently positive. Tonight I did a 10 minute guided meditation that I enjoyed and helped me calm my mind from spinning a little. It has been a great and busy return to Calgary with events at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, my circus troupe and some social engagements. There are more events and opportunities popping up for me now than ever before. This meditation is helping me stay grounded throughout it.

Or are the opportunities coming in part as a result of the meditation?

Day 24 Online Meditation With No Words

I found this 15 minute gem today and was expecting to be guided through a process but instead just heard some unique tones. I must admit that it was a bit of a wild one. At the beginning you are encouraged to read the full description below which I did.

I suggest giving this a try as it took my mind into some really neat places. They advise that you do this every day for a week for some excellent results. I just may do so.

Day 25 Kitchen Floor Meditation

After an enjoyable Autumn day that felt much more like summer, I joined a friend for a mediation after a nice meal. Amanda set out some candles and put on some music that was less traditional than your typical music for such an occasion. While it started quietly and gently, after several (likely about 10) minutes a beat came in and I found myself almost dancing from my seated position.

I was surprised that this didn’t interrupt the meditation. I was still able to keep a focus on my breathing and to allow myself to relax for over 10 minutes.

Prior to this exercise I think that I had a very structured idea of what meditation is. Now I find that it can take many forms and you can experience it in many different ways. 

And that’s ok. The benefits will still be there.

Below are some photos from our Acrobatic Yoga session this afternoon.  More meditation to come…

30 Days Of Meditation Challenge Days 16 – 20

Here continues the #30DaysofMeditation challenge.

Day 16 a miniPong Meditation

miniPong Trinity BellwoodsThis past weekend was a wild one in Toronto. I was brought here to assist with a miniPong exhibit. “What is that you say?” miniPong is miniature Ping-Pong and is a growing phenomenon in Toronto.

It’s been my pleasure to support a good friend and colleague, Ryan Jeans in his entrepreneurial journey at miniPong.ca. He’s had some great success with this project by bringing these “miniPong exhibits” all kinds of events large and small.

Here is a video of what that looked like. I also had the opportunity to perform which feeds my soul.

On Saturday night, we were a part of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche contemporary art festival. It was a giant pile of fun and allowed dozens upon dozens of people to play on the miniature – glow in the dark – tables throughout the night and into the morning.

With the super busy day and night that was Saturday I unfortunately missed my meditation however got to it last night, Sunday. This 30 day challenge is stretching beyond the 30 days but I’m giving myself permission to not be perfect and flawless on this one. 

Now that I’m half way through the challenge, the benefits of regular meditation have become very clear to me and I’m optimistic that by the end of the challenge I will have worked it enough into my routine that I’ll actually continue to meditate almost daily. 

I did my favourite guided meditation with the help of YouTube. This session has become my “go-to” when I’m feeling too scattered / or excited to just sit on my own to quiet my mind.

miniPong crew

Tony Esteves Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 17 Morning Meditation

Yesterday I had a great conversation with Marsha Shandur of Yes Yes Marsha. She’s brilliant and always shares super interesting resources and ideas. There were two things that stood out to me in particular from this recent chat.  She gave me some more news about her experience at the World Domination Summit (which sounds amazing) and a suggestion that she offered around her routine of waking up.

Yes Yes Marsha

I used to be in the habit of actively practicing gratitude every morning before starting the day but have recently been slipping on it. Marsha’s suggestion was to stay in bed in the morning before getting up for 10 minutes or so. This might be while snoozing or listening to the radio or whatever. What it helps you do is focus on what your intention is for the day and it creates some space to start off less franticly.

I tried it this morning. 

I’m currently in Toronto on a 2 week project assisting a friend with some business and personal projects and these things have my mind racing. So while I felt at first that I wanted to get up straight away, I forced myself to remain in bed for that 10 minutes.

I was quickly rewarded for my efforts. 

Quite naturally I slipped into a nice little meditation with no guidance at all. While I can’t say that I went deeply into a state of relaxation I can say that it was easier than I’d expected and felt great.

Thank you Marsha for the tip! I’ll be using this again tomorrow morning.

Day 18 More Guided Meditation

Tonight I listened to another guided mediation with a good friend in Toronto. I found this random 11 minute meditation was not as effective as the one that I usually use, or perhaps it’s just that my mind could not stop racing. When I’ve left the meditating until late in the day, I’ve sometimes found that I’ve given it less attention than it probably needs. I’ve found this to be true for the important tasks in a day or in life as well.

Get to those important things first to do them more effectively and to clear space in your mind for the other things. 

So that’s what I’ll do.

On a side-note, here is a new video that I recently produced for the Calgary Chapter of CAPS – The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. It encourages people to take the course that I took through the association that I took last year.

This “Fast Track” course was the best money I’ve ever invested in my professional development and I’m now on the committee to help with the delivery of this course for 2016. Contact me if you’d like some more information about how to apply to take this course.

Day 19 10 More Minutes of Meditation

The easiest way that I’ve found it is to keep going with a meditation challenge is to just search for “Guided Meditation” and the number of minutes you’d like to meditate for on YouTube. There are literally thousands of them and you can select whatever type of meditation you would like. 

I’m finding it easier and easier to calm myself down and to start meditating now that I’m somewhat in a patter of doing so. Please keep in mind that this 30 day challenge is not happening every single day.

Tonight I enjoyed another 10 minute “focus” meditation from YouTube.

Day 20 Meditation Does Not Have to be a Challenge

Today I didn’t really do a “formal” meditation with a guide or anything too detailed. Instead, I just created some time to be alone and to focus on my breath. I didn’t resist thoughts that were coming in or dwell on them. I kept my eyes closed and relaxed. I stayed there, uninterrupted and it felt great. 

Meditation does not have to be this big challenge (as I’ve certainly felt along this journey at times). It is something that can be eased into and that does in fact get easier with practice.

 

30 Days of Meditation – A Meditation Challenge

Days 11 – 15

Day 11 A Facilitated Meditation 

Counter Stress Inc

Today I was very fortunate to almost have my meditation done for me. That’s because I went in for a session of something called, “Emotional Release Therapy”. This type of therapy involves lying down on something very similar to a massage table, closing your eyes and relaxing. The practitioner asks only a few questions before beginning the treatment. 

It is a very unique type of treatment.

During this process, a towel is placed over the patient’s eyes and you are asked to neither think about anything in particular nor try not to think of anything. 

Emotional Release Therapy is a body-oriented, non-invasive therapeutic process allowing for the release of deeply ingrained bodily tension patterns.

This was my 6th such treatment in the past couple of months and I can honestly say that the results have been fantastic.

While this was not a typical “meditation” I will still give myself credit for having completed my meditating today because I did focus on my breathing and did allow myself to deeply relax. More meditation tomorrow…

Day 12 A Moonlight Meditation 11 minutes

SupermoonAfter the Supermoon lunar eclipse I was invited to do an outdoor meditation and could not turn it down. We decided to set an alarm for 11 minutes and to start with a grounding exercise which I guided us through.

I’m consistently surprised through this meditation challenge how much help with the meditating is bringing to me. Despite an active mind again, I came out of the meditation feeling literally grounded – much more relaxed and connected to the Earth – as we were sitting on the ground. I also felt just a general better sense of well-being. And although my mind never completely got still through this process today the fresh air, comfort of a good friend, and this  big bright beautiful moon made this a really wonderful experience. I missed my meditation yesterday, and I will not miss it tomorrow.

Day 13 Morning Meditation 15 minutes

Today we got out of town! Color of the leaves on the trees were all bright yellow and different shades of light green. It was a stunning drive down to the Layton art exhibit. This is a wonderful place where there is art inside a home, and beautiful expensive grounds for people and artists to walk around and appreciate. In particular a number of painters come here to paint the stunning scenery.

FullSizeRender-1This place is located on a hill so there are spectacular vistas of the mountains the Rollinghills and some small lakes.

Amanda and I decided to take 15 minutes this time and to just sit and feel the warm sun on our faces as we breathe in the beautiful fresh air. It was absolutely beautiful. Following this we did a little bit of yoga and eventually some more people arrived.

Sometimes I wonder how it is possible that I waited this long to bring meditation into my life. Having said that, I know there is a chance that I will at times feel too busy to keep it in my life. I am going to do my best to keep it in my life. I can just feel that this is extremely good for me.

Day 14 More Zen in the Mountains

SAMSUNG CSC

I confess that today I did not get in a traditional meditation session. This is because after just 3 hours of sleep I met a friend and headed to Mt. Fortress just south of Kananaskis, AB. This was an ambitious hike but the weather was stunning and we were prepared. 

Mostly.

We started hiking at 9.30am after the 2 hour drive from Calgary. There were a few twists and turns along the way that slowed us down but by 2. 30pm, we were on top of The Fortress. At 3000m (9840 ft) this is the highest elevation I’ve ever achieved. Despite the fatigue, it felt great. Paradise

As there were two of us there were times when there was no conversation and that was just fine. Sometimes this was when we were pushing up some scree or following an animal path down near the bottom. 

Although I didn’t sit through a scheduled meditation today, I’ll still credit myself for getting out to my favourite place in the world – the mountains. During some of those silent times I do think that there was a meditative process happening. Staying focussed on the path ahead, controlled breathing, thinking only about the task at hand.

Call it meditation or not, yesterday was a magical day that I’ll forever be grateful for.

I love mountains

This is Canada!

Day 15 A Yoga Meditation

Despite feeling literally on top of the world yesterday during my hike up  Mt. Fortress, I found myself a little cranky today. I attribute this to fatigue and a busy mind. This week I’ve been preparing for an upcoming trip to Toronto and quite busy with my business.

So when I was kindly offered to attend a yoga class tonight, I really didn’t think that I had time and considered saying no. 

Have you ever noticed yourself saying no to doing exactly the things that you know would be good for you?

I caught myself doing this, put my tasks to the side and went to the class. Until now, I’ve attended about 20 or so yoga and acro-yoga classes. I enjoy it every time yet it’s still not quite a part of my regular routine. 

It was my first time attending this location of Yoga & Beyond in Calgary. I know the teacher, Amanda and expected that she’d deliver a great class. She did.

I went in feeling rushed and edgy as I was a couple of minutes late and of course nobody wants to be late for a yoga class. But it was fine and I quickly joined the flow.

The transformation from how I felt going into that class compared to how I felt coming out of it was nothing short of sensational. The room was full with about 16 people, mostly women. It was challenging, peaceful, relaxing and all around good. While some of the stretches that we do in yoga make me feel a bit twisted, some of them just feel incredible. It’s as if you can actually feel the tension leaving your body.

As is sometimes the case after the a class, I could hardly speak to anyone. I was super “Zenned-out”. 

Throughout this class there were multiple times when Amanda tactfully brought us back to our breath and encouraged us to be present with our bodies. I feel this certainly qualifies as my meditation for today. Great job Amanda. Thank you.

I need to do more of this. 

 Mountain Yoga

Day 6 Meditating at home with my sister

I had planned to attend a meditation class this morning with my twin sister but we ran a little late and decided to catch up over a salad instead. Once back to my place we listened to a guided meditation on an iPhone App and did 15 minutes total. 

Today it was very difficult to clear my mind. I was thinking about all of the excitement from yesterday with joining CAPS (The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) , from performing at Beakerhead, and from spending such a great time with a new group of people. Interestingly, I met this new group of people by hitting the town with a new friend who I met as part of my #HumanConnections challenge. That challenge involves speaking to a person who I’ve never met before every day until my event on November 3rd

The event I’m co-hosting with Lynnell Ible will be a networking event where people who understand how important human face-to-face conversations are, can connect. More information on that can be found HERE

Beakerhead

All kinds of fun can be had when you dare to speak to new people. Above is a photo with an old friend and a new friend. We were in costume as part of the celebrations for Beakernight at the Beakerhead festival in Calgary. 

Day 7 A fallback guided meditation

Today I really was not in the mood to meditate. I didn’t feel like working it into my day and resisted doing it. But that was a good enough sign for me to be sure to do it! So I used the same guided meditation that I’d used on Day 1. It was difficult to quiet my mind but I was able to settle down my breathing and to come out of it more relaxed. It’s just a 10 minute meditation but I know that it was still good for me. 

Day 8 A guided meditation with hypnosis

Tonight I downloaded the meditation App called, Omvana. I tried their beginner meditation which was disappointingly less than 5 minutes long. But one thing that I did like about it was the use of NLP. Nuro-linquistic programming. I have a little experience with this and can see how this could compliment a guided meditation.

The highlight of this experience was the comment that meditation is not necessarily about clearing the mind, or sitting for long periods of time, but rather it’s about making time for yourself to just relax. That concept really does simplify it for me, and I like that. 

Will I use the App again? Definitely maybe.

Day 9 Mountain-top Meditation!

Today was a pretty wonderful day. These days have been quite busy for me recently so I naturally didn’t think I had the time to take a day off. 

That’s exactly why I gave myself a day off.

Mountain MeditationI hiked the Chester Lake Trail in Kananaskis with a friend of mine, Ed. He’s an experienced guide and we’ve been meaning to hike together for months. Today was finally the day. While we did not completely summit Chester Mountain in the end, we still had a great hike with about 800 metres of elevation gain and a moderate scramble. The views were exceptional and we both had a really great time. 

When asked what time I wanted to be back to the city I told Ed, “Well, I’ll have to do my meditation this evening”, to which he wisely replied, “Why don’t you meditate on the mountain?”

So that’s what I did. It was wonderful.

At 2:45pm, I just lay down on the stones with the glorious sun beaming down on me and closed my eyes. I focussed on my breath and just allowed myself to relax. I wasn’t sure if I was falling asleep or just turbo-relaxed. It didn’t matter. It felt wonderful.

Chester Lake Trail

Much of the hiking I’ve done so far has been at a faster pace than what we did today. It was a really nice change of pace – and I think no coincidence – that today I hiked with someone who liked to take things a little slower. Thank you Ed. 

If you ever find yourself in a 30 day meditation challenge hiking a mountain in perfect weather late September, I highly recommend that you lie down and focus on your breath. It was such a wonderful, calm experience and although I’m tired now, I feel just a little bit younger. 

Day 10 Forced Meditation

I get excited about things when things are exciting. Tonight I was excited. I was spinning around my house bouncing between cleaning, moving things around, corresponding and listening to ideas.

I was full of energy and I did NOT want to meditate.  Not that I was super avoiding it, but every time it came up in my daily catalog of things I had to do, I somehow was able to push it to the bottom of the list.

Until about midnight when – even though my mind was racing – I sat myself down, quickly searched for a 15 minute meditation on YouTube, and I followed along.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was wonderful. It was wonderful because after that time, I felt so much more relaxed and was able to for the first time that day recognize that I was actually tired.

So instead of continuing to buzz through the many projects that I’d been bouncing around on, I went to bed. 

And I rested, very very well.

One of the great benefits from this meditation challenge has been learning how to allow myself to really feel my body and hear my thoughts – all while getting more and more relaxed.

I think I’ll do this for another 20 days. Or possibly longer…

Yikes, here’s a BIG challenge for me! I’ve just committed to doing a 30 day challenge where I’ll meditate every day for a full 30 days! Anik April from Montreal is doing this with me so I’ll for sure have some encouragement along the way. 

I’ve meditated a decent amount in the past couple of years but have never been able to maintain a routine. I figured that while some exciting things are happening for me just now it would be a worthwhile time to stay grounded by practicing more mindfulness. This will likely be a part of the retreat I’m planning in Thailand in April 2016, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Day 1 Guided Meditation for 10 minutes

Tonight I was spinning as a very good friend, Will is moving back to Australia tomorrow and another friend, Connor was celebrating a birthday. But I remembered that I’d committed to this challenge so got myself home to do a mediation mid-way through the celebrations.

I used this link to guide me through a 10 minute chakra meditation. I’ve done this one a couple dozen times in the past but not for months. It was tough for me to stay focussed, but I got through it and felt more relaxed after.

Let’s see how day 2 goes…

Day 2 Listening to music with a partner for 15 minutes in the basement

Candle Meditation.jpgWhen I awoke early this morning (4.30am) with no alarm I considered doing my meditation then. But I’d had just 3 hours of sleep so went back to bed. I do expect that eventually I’ll be meditating early in the morning but this has not happened yet on this challenge.

After a very exciting day as an entrepreneur for various reasons, I finally got around to meditating with the help of a  good friend, Amanda at 9pm. We just sat and created a comfortable quiet space to listen to some music and to focus on our breath. This quiet space is in the basement. There were no strict guidelines. I just knew that I had to meditate tonight and that I was spinning with excitement. I believe that regular meditation will be great for me at this time to help keep me grounded.

Amanda is a yoga instructor so already has a pretty deep mindfulness background. It was helpful to have a partner for this tonight. 

We listened to some songs from this Spotify playlist. If you’ve never tried Spotify or one of the other live music streaming apps, I highly recommend it.

I’ve come out of the meditation feeling more clear than after last nights meditation and wonderfully relaxed. It was again difficult to keep all thoughts from bouncing around my mind, but I expect that will come with practice.

Day 3 About 25 minutes of meditating with a class

Today was the easiest day yet. A new friend, Chantelle, who I met 2 days ago on my #HumanConnections challenge (a challenge where I need to meet a new person face-to-face daily until a networking event I’m co-hosting on November 3rd) told me about the group meditation that I joined tonight. 

Meditation Open House

It was hosted by the Sunshine Yoga Academy in a spacious venue near Chinook Shopping Centre. The two yogis spoke about what meditation is and took us through some breathing exercises as well as a guided meditation. We were a group of 9 people and other than one of the instructors, I was the only man. 

I found it easy to follow their instructions and to quiet my mind to the best of my ability yet on this challenge. Some beautiful music was created while we were in the meditation with bowls. I’ve heard them before but it’s never been explained to me how the vibrations created with that music can sync up with people at a molecular level. Amazing! A whole new world is being presented to me.

Meditation is one of those things that I’ve done until now less than 2 dozen times in my life. Each time I’ve done so I’ve either greatly enjoyed the inner peace that it’s created or at the very least felt that my efforts were worthwhile. But it’s taken me until now – until this 30 day challenge – for me to repeatedly meditate. While it’s just Day 3, I have a suspicion that this challenge will almost certainly be creating some real permanent change for me, and I’m excited about that.

Until tomorrow. 

Day 4 I missed my meditation today!

So I’m an excitable character. And there are some exciting things happening for me in my life and business just now. But sometimes when I get excited I can lose my focus and get a little scattered. When I awoke this morning I knew that it would be tough to get my meditation in due to a scheduled performance as part of the Beayerhead festival in Calgary.

But rather than get to the meditation early, I got buzzing into all of the exciting tasks and actions of my day. The next thing I knew I was in circus costume and makeup and we did the show. I got home quite late and instead of meditating, edited and published this video of the evening’s activities.

My head was just not in the right place to meditate. But it’s likely the only thing that I really should have done yesterday.

Here’s a look at that video just the same.

Day 5  12 minutes of meditation on the sofa and today I joined CAPS

caps_logo_colour_proud_memberToday I was glowing from last night’s performance and from officially becoming a Professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. We had our first monthly meeting of the season and it was great to catch up with old colleag
ues and to meet some new people. What a wonderful organization to be a part of. I’m very much looking forward to attending my first national CAPS Convention this December in Halifax. 

Once home I had a client meeting, and finally some much needed rest. Back up late afternoon I was eager to tackle the admin of the day – responding to requests, editing some videos, writing this blog – but I forced myself to slow down.

Tony Esteves CAPS Calgary

I turned off all of the devices and decided to just sit in my empty house with some meditation music on and to relax. I did so for about 12 minutes and it was wonderful. This time my mind was not so still but I could just tell that it was good for me. 

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a meditation with my awesome and super-talented twin sister. Wish me luck!